Hardware, software security combination offers attractive CA, says report

A combination of software digital rights management and hardware-based security may offer the best approach to content security, according to a new study from ABI Research.

In “Conditional Access and DRM: Focus On CATV, DBS and IPTV Platforms,” ABI presents the case for Downloadable Conditional Access systems (DCAS), in which the two technologies converge.

DCAS is a combination of traditional conditional access (CA) and the emerging downloadable software-based model. The hardware resides in the user's set-top box (STB), and interacts with downloaded security software to permit access to the content being received.

Traditional CA players such Scientific-Atlanta, NDS, Motorola and Nagravision are already getting on board with DCAS.

DCAS is important because it solves digital media's challenge: the legitimate transfer of content from the STB to an ancillary device such as a portable video recorder, according to ABI Research director of broadband and multimedia research Vamsi Sistla.

Meanwhile, program content is becoming a commodity. There are many more media sources and many more distribution paths. If a particular piece of entertainment is not made available for a wide variety of devices, consumers will look elsewhere, and its owner will lose.

DCAS's marriage of software with hardware-based encryption enables transfer of content from an STB to a personal media player or even a mobile phone.

The new study discusses the emergence of downloadable CAS and DRM. It discusses detailed forecasts and market trend analysis for OCAP, two-way-ready DCR devices and software-based DRM.

For more information, visit www.abiresearch.com.

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